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Dec 6, 2008 11:54 AM

Family dinner on Vanderbilt, kind of near Atlantic?

Any recommendations for someplace to eat a nice sit down dinner on Vanderbilt, realtively near Atlantic (we will have a car, though)? There will be a year and a half old baby in the bunch. Up for pretty much anything, but the family especially loves Indian, Puerto Rican, Spanish (as in Spain-ish), any place with very good fried chicken and/or bbq. Preferably someplace with at least good veggie sides for the vegetarian. This will be for an informal birthday dinner. Oh yeah - and entrees starting around $12 or so would be good. If everything is $27 my parents would be annoyed.

Thanks so much!

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  1. In my opinion, Mitchell's Soul Food (617A Vanderbilt Ave) has some of the best fried chicken in NYC and is very budget friendly. The yams are out of this world. I'd also recommend Amorina (624 Vanderbilt Ave) if you want Italian or pizza. They are very family friendly, have tons of veggie pizza options and are reasonably priced.

    1. You could consider Beast. They have a wide range of american style tapas, and a good selection of vegetarian options. Not much on the latin side of things, but some stuff that may be closer to bbq. The price is in the right range, though some of the dishes are smaller and meant for sharing.

      There is a back room you might be able to reserve if you have a large party.

      The biggest downside is that the service gets slow when it gets busy.

      It is on Vanderbilt, at Bergen I think.

      3 Replies
      1. re: millerd

        We were disappointed by Beast. the meat dishes and salads were good but tiny, the wines were good but rather expensive, the roasted veg platter was pitiful (my vegetarian daughter was really disappointed with it - I think it was mainly underseasoned turnips) and the flatbreads served were also understeasoned and doughy - should have had some salt in them rather than expecting us to dip.

        Amorina is a great place for a family meal, highly recommended. they have some good pastas as well as very good pizza.

        For hispanic food I have a few suggestions, though its not a strongly hispanic area - first, I believe Luz, a nuevo-hispanic place is still there over on 177 Vanderbilt, near Myrtle. It was very good when it opened 3 or so years ago, serving more of a latin american style cuisine - I havent been recently. Pequena which I havent been to, is not far from Vanderbilt, on the Ft. Greene side of Atlantic. Finally, You might consider El Viejo Yayo on Fifth Avenue nr. Flatbush - its a fairly nice family style place, and the chicharron de pollo and platanos are very good there though the style - lots of meats, with rice and beans - is fairly plain and bland.

        Good luck, and hope you report back.

        1. re: jen kalb

          While I think some of the dishes at Pequena are good. It is a very small restaurant so I wouldn't recommend it for a group outing.

        2. re: millerd

          We ended up going to Luz. It smelled fantastic, like our grandma's kitchen. The food was terrific and they were really great with the baby (they have a couple of high chairs and they can swap out a chair at the tables to wheel in a compact stroller). Everyone in the kitchen was waving at him. The arroz con gandules was the way my family makes it and likes it. We had the skirt steak, one of the pork dishes, the arepas, ceviche, marduras and tostones and a bunch of other items. The presentation was great, space was clean and warm and prices were very reasonable. The drinks were tasty, although I'm not sure there was any alcohol in the pina colada. My mother had ordered a virgin and I think they assumed I wanted the same. We will definitely be back. We love Sofrito (in Manhattan), but haven't been back since they switched to a prix fixe set up for weekend nights. This is a totally different atmosphere but food-wise it provides a good enough subsitute. I did miss the garlic with the tostones that I got at Sofrito, though.

          I think we will check out General Greene and Smoke Joint on future visits.